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A coming flood in Oceano 

In the debate about whether ATVs should be allowed to tear up environmentally sensitive habitat and run over endangered birds in the Oceano dunes, or whether a moneyed Central Valley tradition should trump the rights of disadvantaged locals to a safe beach and clean air, there's one significant point that's largely overlooked. Operation of the Pier Avenue vehicle ramp to Pismo State Beach, the gateway to the Oceano Dunes SVRA miles south, puts Oceano's homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure at increased risk from sea level rise and tsunamis. The recent Local Hazard Mitigation Plan prepared for the Oceano Community Services District highlighted this risk. Over decades of use, countless tons of sand have been removed from the beach on vehicle tires and hauled to the landfill, creating a funnel for the sea where protective dunes used to stand tall. King tides hint at the danger, as the sea rushes up the beach nearly to the gate at the park's entrance. How can it be that the state continues to put a town at risk for a recreational purpose already fraught with negative impacts? Why does the SLO County Board of Supervisors stand idly by? Will anyone step up to prevent the coming flood?

Cynthia Replogle

Oceano

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